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Marvelous Mariners!

12th Annual Daily Pilot Cup

Team wins first boys' 5-6 gold division championship on strength of Travis Campos' hat trick.

June 05, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com
(Don Leach / Daily…)

COSTA MESA — A woman asked the boys from Mariners Elementary's team to line up for a photo before they stepped on the soccer field. Sunday was going to mark the last time the sixth-graders played together at the Daily Pilot Cup.

One player did not want to be a part of the photo.

"We'll get a picture when we win," he told the woman with the camera.

That is how confident Mariners went into the fifth- and sixth-grade gold division title match against Whittier. Keep in mind, Mariners had never won the gold division at the tournament, boys or girls.

Two players on the Mariners' roster had won twice before, but when they were third- and fourth-graders at another school. The players are twins Travis and Dylan Campos.

The duo helped Mariners taste first at the Daily Pilot Cup for the first time.

Travis recorded three goals and his brother assisted on one late to secure Mariners' 4-2 victory at the Costa Mesa Farm Complex. Out of the three Pilot Cup crowns won by the Campos brothers, they said this one was more special.

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"We won it in the third- and fourth-grade [division] and it was really easy," Dylan said. "But then fifth and sixth is a whole different thing."

Dylan and Travis found it harder to get back to the top of the Pilot Cup. Last season, their first at Mariners after leaving Carden Hall, Dylan and Travis fell short in the semifinals, losing to eventual champion Rea.

This year, Mariners did not have to face Rea. Whittier did it a favor, preventing Rea from winning a fifth straight title in the fifth- and sixth-grade gold division by knocking off the Sharks, 3-2, in the semifinals.

Both Whittier and Mariners had to rally in the morning to reach the championship match. Whittier overcame a 2-0 deficit and Mariners blew a 2-0 lead against Sonora and found itself behind, 3-2, at halftime.

Mariners Coach Graham Forman was shocked.

"When you're up, 2-0, you shouldn't be giving up three [straight goals]," Forman said.

"They responded incredibly in the second half to get us through."

Mariners scored the only two goals in the second half to beat Sonora, 4-3. Travis notched the game-winner, giving him three goals in the semis.

Mariners needed a second hat trick performance on Sunday from Travis to get out in front of Whittier in the finale. Travis obliged.

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